Valencia is located on the Mediterranean coast and is the third largest city in Spain with a population of around 1.5 million. Valencia is the capital city of the Autonomous Region of Valencia. Two languages are spoken in Valencia: Valencian, a dialect of Catalan, and Castillian Spanish. The cost of living in Valencia is very reasonable in comparison with other major Spanish cities and is relatively cheap in comparison with UK and Irish cities.
There are approximately 85,000 students at all universities in the city of Valencia meaning that student life is vibrant and easy to find. The University of Valencia is one of Spain’s oldest and traditionally one of the four best universities in the country. Currently it does not offer any degrees taught entirely in English, however.
The historical centre of Valencia is one of the largest in Europe and is a highly attractive tourist destination for Spanish and foreign visitors. UCV’s faculties for dentistry and the English-language programme for nursing are both to be found on the edge of the historic centre near the main train station.
Valencia is a relatively compact city and it is easy to get around by bus or metro. Metrovalencia covers most areas of the city and buses fill in the gaps of the network. If you study at UCV and live in the city centre a monthly travelcard is unlikely to cost you more than €40.
One of the main advantages of life in Valencia is that the sun shines on almost 300 days a year. The Valencian climate is best described as mild and humid by Spanish standards. In reality this means that the average temperature in January is 11.5˚C and 25.5˚C in August. Valencia avoids the extreme heat of other Spanish cities but is also rarely as cold as Madrid in winter, for example.
Valencia hosts many sporting events of worldwide significance. It is the current home of the Formula 1 European Grand Prix and the Tennis Open 500 and World Equestrian Champions Tour. It was also the host city for the 32nd and 33rd Americas Cups. Primera Liga football is also on offer at Valencia CF and Levante UD.
Valencia is also a major cultural centre and there are many events and festivals throughout the year. Of particular notice are the Fallas, which takes place from 15th to 19th March each year, and La Tomatina in August.
In summer, life in Valencia revolves around the sea. Malvarosa beach, the biggest in Valencia, is only ten minutes from the centre of the city. Sunbathing, beach volleyball or simply taking a stroll along the seafront are all part of Valencian life.
Finally, any description of Valencia would not be complete without mentioning the one thing for which the city is most famous: Paella! However, this is not the only gastronomic delight on offer in Valencia.
Getting to/from Valencia
Transportation links are vital when thinking about living in Valencia. Valencia’s international airport is easily reached by metro in the city.
Connections to Valencia from the UK and Ireland currently include daily flights from London Gatwick (Easyjet), London Stansted and East Midlands airport (Ryan Air). Seasonal Ryan Air flights are also available from Bristol, Dublin and Manchester. There are currently no direct connections from the UK and Ireland on British Airways or Iberia.
If there is no direct flight from your city to Valencia the best way to get there might be to fly to another destination in Spain and then take the train. Valencia is approximately 90 minutes away from Madrid and Alicante by high speed train. Spanish train fares are usually considerably cheaper than British fares.
Practicalities of Living in Valencia
If you choose to study in Valencia what factors should you bear in mind?
Firstly, it is important to consider your living costs. These are likely to be much lower than in a comparable British university city but they can still vary quite dramatically, depending on the type of accommodation you choose.
Most students live in privately rented apartments. A room in such an apartment typically costs between €250 and €350 per month. Some students live in halls of residence that include all bills, meals, wifi etc. The cost of this can be between €600 and €900 a month.
Finding a room in Valencia is not usually a problem. As part of the service we offer, we will provide guidance and suggestions on how to find a place to live as well as support when dealing with Spanish landlords, signing contracts etc. We cannot guarantee accommodation but in our experience, there are unlikely to be significant difficulties in finding a suitable place to live.
Spanish healthcare is generally seen as one of the best systems in the world. It is available to British and Irish students with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) although it is worth checking the exact validity of this arrangement.
Other living costs for food etc in Valencia are estimated at around €250 per month, meaning that the overall cost of living is probably between €500 and €1000 per month.